Chocolate Ganache Recipe

chocolate-ganache-recipeChocolate Ganache is widely used in desserts, and is perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy the real taste of dark, luscious chocolate! Ganache is a French term referring to a smooth mixture of chopped chocolate and heavy cream. Some say it originated in Switzerland, while some believe it was invented in Paris. To make ganache, hot cream is poured over chopped chocolate and the mixture is stirred until velvety smooth. The proportions of chocolate to cream can vary depending on its use, and you can use dark, milk, or white chocolate and add different flavorings such as liqueurs and extracts to make Ganache variations. Discussed below, is the basic Ganache recipe, its techniques, and different uses and variations for you to experiment with!

A legend proposes that "Ganache" was the outcome of a culinary accident, whereby a chocolatier's apprentice spilled cream in the chocolate he was melting. The chef called the apprentice 'Ganache', a word meaning, figuratively, 'fool'. Masterpieces are created by accidents, and may Lord bless that "ignorant fool" for giving us the legacy of Ganache!

The taste and quality of the Ganache is primarily dependent on the quality of chocolate you start with. A chocolate with a higher cocoa butter content will produce a ganache that is firmer than one made with a chocolate that has a low cocoa butter content. A chocolate with a velvety smooth texture will produce a ganache that is velvety smooth. The most important point to consider when choosing a chocolate for making ganache is whether you like the chocolate when eaten out of hand.

There are 2 ways to make Ganache:

1. The chocolate is melted, cooled to room temperature and the cream is beaten into it
2. The cream is brought to a boil, removed from the heat and the chocolate is beaten into it.

The second method is generally recommended, as there is less chance of burning the chocolate this way. But you are free to try both and choose the one that works out best for you. The proportion of chocolate to cream is critical, as this determines the stiffness of the resulting Ganache. Add more cream and you will get a softer product, add more chocolate and you'll get a stiffer mixture.

Makes about 1 and 1/2 cup of ganache

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate - chopped into pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp liqueur (optional, like cognac, grand marnier, kahlua, etc)

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just barely to a boil; do not over-heat, else the cream will get scorched and burnt.

Now place a damp towel on your counter, place the pan of hot cream on the towel, and then add the chopped chocolate to the cream. Let it stand for 5 mins, then stir with a whisk until smooth. Add the liqueur to flavor the ganache.

Tips & Tricks:
To make a smoother ganache, set the pan in a larger pan of hot water and stir until it is soft enough to spread like a sauce.

In order to make a stiff ganache, place the pan in a larger pan of ice water to cool the mixture just until it comes to spreading consistency. Remove from the ice bath at this point to make sure it doesn't harden too much. Use this mixture as a filling between cake or cookies.

You can store the ganache for three days at room temperature, or up to one week in the refrigerator. You can even freeze it for up to three months. Just soften or melt it before using.

Recipes with Ganache
There are several ways you can use Ganache in your dessert recipes. It can be used in filled chocolates, in frosting cakes, making truffles, as topping on pies & ice-creams, as a glaze on cakes, donuts or muffins, or simply to add a smooth choclatey flavor to lattes, drinks or any other deserts. Depending on how you want to use it, here are a few recipe variations that could come in handy.

Chocolate Glaze or Sauce - use 1 part cream to 3 parts chocolate. Pour immediately over cake or ice-creams or desserts, when its barely warm and still liquid.

Chocolate Truffles - use 1 part cream to 2 parts chocolate. Allow the ganache to cool completely, then refrigerate it for 15-20 mins. Then scoop some mixture and shape into truffles, and set again to refrigerate till ready to serve. Coat with cocoa powder, powdered sugar or chopped nuts to form various kinds of truffles.

Chocolate Frosting - use 1 part cream to 3 parts chocolate. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature, or even a bit chilled so it becomes spreadable, then use it to frost a cake. Pour the ganache in the center of the cake, then quickly spread with a spatula over the sides, using big strokes to create an even coating of frosting.

Gooey Chocolate Filling - use 1 part cream to 1 part chocolate. Use immediately in cakes or molten muffins and pastries, while still in melted form. It can also be refrigerated and stored, then used as a filling later after warming it a little.

These are more than enough ways to start enjoying the rich chocolate flavor. Be it cakes, truffles, tarts, ice cream, molten muffins or something as simple as chocolate-covered strawberries, Ganache can make it look beautiful and taste divine! So experiment with melted chocolate, and get the most out of a simple Ganache Recipe!

Related Recipes:
Moist Espresso Kahlua Brownies
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
Mini Chocolate-Strawberry Heart Cakes

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Manggy said...

Nice shiny strawberries! :) I recently ate a few really decadent truffles from Hong Kong-- each one a piece of bitter heaven :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing the lovely variaitons! the chocolate to cream ratios are really useful!


Pragyan said...

So informative and interesting..and such variety! Shall definitely try it out and stock in the freezer :) Thanks, Mansi!

amna said...

the strawberries look so good dipped in choc. i just wonder if they sourness of them and the bitterness of choc go well. i know chocs and berries are a good combo but i am yet to taste a strawberry that was tasty!

Mansi said...

Nags, you need to come to California for the biggest juiciest sweetest strawberries!! come on over, I'll feed you some really nice ones and all your doubts will be gone!:)

Dragon said...

Thanks for all the great variations! Chocolate is a cure for everything. :)

Rachel said...

Chocolate ganache..the most sinful of it many guises

SMN said...

Manasi such a informative read it was and those straberries looks so yum

Anonymous said...

I love ganache, as you said, it can turn anything ordinary into extra-ordinary!:)


Namratha said...

I made chocolate dipped strawberries too, had a lot of leftover ganache from the Daring Bakers Challenge :) Yours look mouth watering!

Anonymous said...

I made ganache trying to use it on cupcakes. I used a very different recipe. I ended up having to sweeten it after it had been sitting in the fridge forever. I now need a way to actually use it...because the cupcakes were delicious and all 3 dozen were gone after 2 days.

~~louise~~ said...

What a fabulous post, Mansi. I hope you don't mind but I included this link in a post I did today for April Fool's Day. Here's the link if you would like to check it out.

Thank you so much for sharing...I must check and see what's cookin' today.